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North Sea Link

Statnett is building an interconnector between Norway and the UK together with British energy company National Grid. The North Sea Link (NSL) interconnector will link the Nordic and British markets, providing benefits on both sides of the cable.

When the winds blow in the UK and wind power production is high, Norway will be able to import power from the British to a lower price than in the Norwegian market and conserve the water in Norway's many hydropower reservoirs.

When there is little wind and a greater need for power in the UK, the situation will be the other way around. The British then can import Norwegian hydropower to a lower price then in the British market and through this secure the power supply.

The advantages of this exchange of green energy include:

  • Increased security of supply because one can import more electricity at a lower price when the power situation is tight
  • Increased market for power producers when there is a surplus of power in the national market
  • Facilitation of higher production and consumption of renewable energy in Norway and the UK, thereby contributing to future climate-friendly energy
  • More predictable supply situation and price throughout the year and from year to year

An investment decision for the project was taken in 2015, and the goal is to complete the project by 2021.

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All projects start with the planning phase. The following is important in this phase:

  • Identification of needs
  • Concept choice studies 
  • External quality assurance 

Statnett is responsible for planning and applying for implementation of the projects we believe to be socio-economically viable. For international interconnectors, the most important criteria are socio-economic profitability and the contribution to security of supply.

Licensing process

Interconnectors to countries outside of the Nordic region require a licence for facilitation of power exchange - a so-called foreign trade licence. The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy processes the application. The Ministry chose to submit Statnett's application for the planned interconnectors to Germany and the UK for public consultation. Any appeals of the decision will be decided by the King in Council, who will make the final decision. The foreign trade licence arrangement is special for Norway, but the countries we plan to connect to also require licences. However, these licences have more in common with Norwegian construction licences.


The project has now entered the construction phase. This phase can comprise of forest clearing, construction and improving new and existing roads on land. At sea, seabed surveys will often be carried out before cable installation and jetting and in some places burial once the cable has been laid. The area around the connection point will also be expanded to create space for a new station to connect the cable to the Norwegian power grid.


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